World news

'Mossad man' free to leave Germany

By Jennifer Lipman, August 13, 2010

A man alleged to be a Mossad agent has been released on bail by a German court and is free to return to Israel.

Uri Brodsky, arrested in Poland in June on suspicion of involvement in the killing of a Hamas operative in Dubai, will not stand trial in Germany.

A Cologne court said the case would now be dealt with by written proceedings and added that Mr Brodsky would probably face a fine rather than a jail sentence.

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Jewish fairytale in shadow of Disney castle

By Rika Zimmerman, August 12, 2010

When writer Odeia Band went to Spain to research a book, she could never have imagined she was about to uncover a piece of remarkable personal - and Jewish - history.

Mrs Band is a descendant of Abraham Senior, a 15th-century treasurer to the Spanish Royal Family who helped to arrange the marriage of Princess Isabella.

When Isabella and her husband, Ferdinand, expelled Jews from Spain in 1492, Abraham Senior reportedly converted in order to stay.

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Netanyahu, Barak defend actions at Gaza flotilla inquiry

By Anshel Pfeffer, August 12, 2010

Israeli prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Defence Minister Ehud Barak and IDF Chief of Staff Lieutenant General Gabi Ashkenazi appeared this week before the Turkel Commission investigating the action against the flotilla to Gaza, in which nine Turkish activists were killed on the Mavi Marmara ferry.

The Israeli leaders justified the operation while acknowledging mistakes in advance planning and intelligence-gathering.

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Interim agreement on New Zealand shechitah ban

By Dan Goldberg, August 12, 2010

New Zealand's small Jewish community has won a minor victory in its legal battle against a government ban on kosher slaughtering.

In the High Court in Wellington on Monday, Justice Denis Clifford approved a consent order to permit shechitah until the trial reaches court, which is not expected until next year.

The decision comes as UK Jewish leaders step up efforts to prevent the European Parliament from passing a law that will mean kosher meat must be labelled "meat from slaughter without stunning".

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Australian Jews show support for Israel

By Dan Goldberg, August 12, 2010

More than 1,000 people rallied for Israel this week in one of the biggest shows of solidarity with the Jewish state ever held in Western Australia.

The majority of those attending the launch of Friends of Israel Western Australia in Perth last Sunday were non-Jews, including dozens of local, state and federal politicians.

Chief among them was Foreign Minister Stephen Smith, who recently locked horns with Jewish community leaders over Israel's alleged forging of four Australian passports and the Gaza flotilla.

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Jews and Muslims discuss Islamophobia and antisemitism

By Beth Alexander, August 12, 2010

Sixty-five delegates from more than 25 countries gathered at the University of Vienna this week for the MuslimJewish conference, the first of its kind to be held in Europe.

The brainchild of Ilja Sichrovsky, 27, a Jewish International Development student from Vienna, the week-long conference aimed to engage Muslim, Jewish and Christian students in meaningful dialogue.

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Streisand: shame about Jennifer Aniston's nose

By Jennifer Lipman, August 11, 2010

Barbra Streisand has given Jennifer Aniston
her blessing for a photo shoot which paid homage to the Jewish star as she was in the film Funny Girl.

Ms Aniston was pictured with big hair, thick black eyeliner and neatly manicured nails in a series of photographs that directly channeled the 1968 film.

The images appear in the September edition of US Harper's Bazaar magazine.

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New Zealand Shechita ban on hold

By Jennifer Lipman, August 10, 2010

New Zealand has temporarily lifted its ban on the kosher slaughter of animals.

Members of the Jewish community have filed a lawsuit against the agriculture minister challenging the Shechita ban, which was brought in at the end of May 2010 to the outrage of Jewish citizens.

The case is expected to be heard in 2011, but until then the practice will not be prohibited.

New Zealand Jewish Council chairman Geoff Levy said the interim decision was positive and added: "Every effort is being made to get chicken and local lamb back on the table as soon as possible".

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Arab who sang at synagogue has gig cancelled

By Jennifer Lipman, August 10, 2010

A Tunisian pop star has pulled out of a concert after a video emerged of him performing at a synagogue.

Saleem Bakkoush was set to sing at the annual Carthage festival but had his appearance cancelled after the footage surfaced.

Mr Bakkoush said the show at Tunisia’s oldest synagogue in Djerba was several years ago and accused “rivals” of trying to damage his reputation.

Judaism is believed to be Tunisia’s third largest religion, with a population of 1,500 Jews living mainly in Tunis and Djerba.

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US congress suspend military aid to Lebanon

By Jennifer Lipman, August 10, 2010

A United States congressional committee has temporarily blocked military aid to Lebanon out of fears Hizbollah militants could use it to attack Israel.

The House Foreign Affairs Committee suspended a military package worth more than £60 million (£100 million) which was due to go to the Lebanese Armed Forces.

Howard Berman, the Californian congressman who chairs the committee, announced that the funding would be suspended on August 2 and called on President Obama to look into Hizbollah’s influence on the Lebanese army.

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